Email 17

Please explain “first fruits” and the relationship to tithing.


The simple answer followers below. However, the Torah accounts for (3) tithes that not only go to the Levites, but to orphans, widows and those in need. A careful study of annual tithing from the Scripture amounts to about 28% of an individual’s income. There is even a penalty if one fails to make tithes on a timely basis, and that is you must add another 1/5. For example, if you fail to tithe 10% at the proper time you must add a fifth, which brings the total to 30%. Unlike churches today the tithes went to the priests and they were obligated to pay the costs associated with running and the upkeep of the religious institutions. Churches today operate contrary to the biblical model.

Now more directly, “firstfruits” may be seen as a metaphor for contemporary believers, but in ancient times “firstfruits” was the best examples of a crop harvested first, and dedicated to G-d. In accordance with Mosaic law, individual Israelites brought to the house of the L-rd “the first (that is, “the best”) of the firstfruits of thy land” (Ex. 23:19; 34:26), including grain, wine, and oil, which were used–except for the grain (Lev. 2:14-16)–for the support of the priests (Num. 18:12; Deut. 18:4). According to Deuteronomy 26:1-11, the offering was brought in a basket to the sanctuary for presentation. The Book of Proverbs promises prosperity to those who honor the L-rd with the firstfruits (Prov. 3:9).

The application to be made by us is that we are to dedicate and give unto the L-rd the best we have, not the leftovers. As to tithing the first 10% of our gross work income or income from any source is to be given. We are not to give what is left after we pay our debts. Therefore, the “firstfuits” – is our first and best.

This runs contrary to the general thinking of professed believers today, but G-d does not change and His Torah (instructions) holds just as true for us now as it did for the ancient Israelites.

I hope this helps. If you had a particular Scripture in mind pleas reply for there is an abundance of information in the Bible about tithing and firstfuits.

Shalom v’brachas, Rabbi Davis